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Thursday, December 7, 2023

The Local Pulse – Support local business


I have used this column to write in the past about how difficult it is to do business in Illinois. Along with sky-high property taxes, there are mountains of red tape that stymie business growth or relocations, and unfriendly workers compensation laws that make it nearly impossible for businesses to get ahead.

I tip my hat to every entrepreneur who owns and operates a business in the Land of Lincoln. Your state government sure doesn’t make it easy for you.

But we are fortunate in Illinois to have a few groups out there that focus on helping the business community grow and thrive. Organizations like the Illinois Manufacturing Association, the National Federation of Independent Businesses for Illinois, and the Technology & Manufacturing Association are all outstanding community partners that go the extra mile to help businesses that face a seemingly unending number of state mandates that threaten their bottom lines.

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These advocacy groups have talented teams of experts who fight the onerous regulatory system in Springfield. They follow legislation, offer support or opposition to measures depending on if they help or hurt the business sector, and keep their thousands of members apprised of legislative proposals that could affect how they conduct business. These governmental affairs professionals are aware of the tricks and tactics used to slide through unpopular legislation, and are always on the lookout for the next anti-business bill.

These groups work behind the scenes and rarely receive the recognition they deserve. So as the Legislature prepares for the 2022 veto session and an upcoming Lame Duck session in January of 2023, I take comfort in knowing that organizations like the IMA, NFIB, and TMA are out there looking out for the best interests of Illinois businesses.

Along those same lines, you don’t have to be a lobbyist or governmental affairs professional to do your part to help businesses thrive.

With the holiday season right around the corner, we can all do our part to help businesses right here in Naperville. Whether you plan to shop early or prefer the bustle of last-minute shopping, the businesses of Naperville, now more than ever, need you to remember to shop local.

Most Naperville businesses, including retail shops and our fabulous restaurants, are still struggling to recover from the ramifications of the forced shut-down in 2020. People resorted to online shopping, and many have never come back. The downtown shopping district strives to see the foot traffic it used to see. Our local and unique businesses need our help so they can return to pre-pandemic levels of success.

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Grant Wehrli
Grant Wehrli
Grant Wehrli is a lifelong Naperville Resident and former Representative in the Illinois House of Representatives and Naperville City Councilman.


Hakuna Matata

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